Friday, March 5, 2010

It's All in the Timing

Yesterday I attempted to take a picture of an item in a glass display case. I realized fairly quickly that it was hopeless. The case is in the corner of a big room with windows all around, and all I could see was the reflections of the light coming through the windows on the glass of the display case. I've decided to come back after dark to see if I have better luck. With no light coming through the windows and more lights coming from ceiling light fixtures overhead, perhaps the glare might not be so bad. I don't know yet how it will turn out, but the timing could make a great deal of difference.

I've noticed that timing can make a huge difference in my life. My alma mater was the first college to send me mail after I took the PSAT. What if they had sent their letter later? Would I have given it as much weight if it hadn't been the first one to arrive? I met my husband when I was a freshman in college and he was dating a friend of mine. After they broke up a year later, I toyed with the idea of pursuing him but ultimately decided against it because it just didn't feel right at the time. We didn't start dating until a year later, and by then we were such good friends that our relationship bloomed quickly and we were engaged five months later. What would have happened if I had tried to date him sooner? Would things have worked out? What if we weren't ready and the relationship didn't last? Would we ever have gotten back together? I don't know. But as it was, the timing seemed pretty perfect.

The problem with timing as that while I know it's important, I don't always have the right information to try to control it. I can guess that there will be less glare on a display case at night, that I should wait to bring up a complicated conversation until after my husband's had his dinner, and that it won't do me any good to call someone when I know that person is at work and can't answer the phone. But sometimes I don't have all of that information to make a decision about timing. I'm not always privy to the schedules, feelings, or even the physical factors involved in the situations of my life. How do I know when to act when I don't have information about the proper timing?

I've come up with a two part answer to this question: trust God and pay attention. God is the one being in this universe with perfect timing because He is the only one who can see and understand all the factors that go into each situation. Sometimes God will help me out with the timing either by guiding events Himself or by giving me a nudge so that I make the right choices at the right time. Like always, however, I have to pay attention to God in order to benefit from the help He's giving me. If I'm tuned out, then I'll miss the Spirit's cues and the timing will come out all wrong. I need to try to be as perceptive as possible so that I can pick up as much information as I can both from God and from the people and situations around me. I've figured out that having a serious conversation with my husband right before dinner is a bad idea because I've paid attention to what happens when I do. The timing of our relationship was completely different. I decided not to date him earlier in our friendship because it didn't feel right, and it's a good thing I paid attention to that feeling in my gut, because it could very well have been a tip from God.

No matter how hard I try and no matter how much I pay attention, I'm still going to mess up the timing sometimes. That's why trusting God means more than simply counting on Him to help me figure it out. Trusting also means that I depend on Him to work things out when I make a huge mess and to be there to help me even if the timing goes horribly wrong. Even if I act at entirely the wrong time, God will salvage the mess and make things turn out the way they should in the end. God's been correcting our mistakes for all of history, and He's very good at it. I just need to do my best and count on God for the rest. He's ultimately the one in charge of the timing, anyway.

No comments:

Christian Love Lessons - Free Blogger Templates - by Templates para novo blogger